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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 16, 2019 2:00am-2:31am BST

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president macron this is bbc news, the headlines: one of the world's most famous landmarks, notre dame cathedral in paris, welcome to bbc news, has been engulfed by fire. broadcasting to viewers firefighters say the blaze could be linked to ongoing restoration work. in north america and around the globe. despite the battle my name is mike embley. to save the building, the roof has been destroyed. our top stories: officials say the main structure has survived. devastation and destruction — despite major efforts to fight the fire, one of the world's architectural and just a few hours after it began, wonders, notre dame cathedral, in paris, people were left shocked the moment the spire collapsed. has been left in ruins by a fire. it's feared the rose windows have been destroyed along with these are the live pictures many paintings and other artefacts, although some, of the historic building including a crown of thorns and a medieval royal tunic, and firefighters still working on the site. officials say the structure are safe. and its two main towers these are the first have been saved. pictures of the devastation inside the cathedral, where investigators are trying to establish the severity also much of the inside has been of the damage to the structure and its contents. saved. despite major efforts to stop the blaze spreading, president emmanuel macron has and just a few hours pledged to rebuild it, after the fire began, people were left shocked the moment seeking international help. the spire collapsed. these are the first pictures from inside, where investigators are trying to establish the severity of the damage to the structure now on bbc news:
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mira markovic, the wife of former and its contents. yugoslav leader slobodan milosevic, parisians watching in tears and dismay, try to raise each others spirits with singing. president macron vows the catherdal will be rebiuilt. president macron vows the catherdal will be rebuilt. fla mes flames are still burning in one of the most famous buildings in the world. they can be seen from all over paris. the extent of the damage may not be as bad as first feared. one firefighter has been injured. our first report is from paris correspondent lucy williamson. it was, said the president, a part of france that burned today,
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a part that stood here for 800 years, through war, revolution and religious unrest. engulfed within an hour by flames. its ancient towers, beacons for both residents and tourists, crumbling into the blaze. as its current guardian watched through tears. translation: this is a national disaster, i'm very upset. this cathedral is 850 years old and to see the building fall to pieces, the spire to fall down just as we were renovating it, all i can do is pray. firefighters circled the cathedral to tackle the blaze. their cranes stretching to reach its soaring roof, a complicated and fragile operation, simply dousing the medieval structure with water was not an option, rescue experts said, because the building could collapse.
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to tackle the flames inside the building, firefighters had to climb up the towers. nothing else could reach. president macron arriving at the cathedral with france's prime minister, his face upturned in disbelief. translation: what has happened tonight in paris and notre dame is a terrible event. i want to first think the firefighters, 500 of whom have battled the flames for several hours and will keep doing so for several more and maybe for several days. the flames are slowly beginning to subside now but the damage is just beginning to reveal itself. the destruction of this mediaeval symbol of paris has left the city under a pall of shock and smoke. people packed into the streets around barely spoke, just watched. those who found the words for their impressions, one after the other,
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all said the same. translation: this is awful, it's terribly sad. it is terrifying. the fire is uncontrollable. i've been here for one hour and there is nothing we can do. the deputy mayor of paris confirmed the fire started on the roof and quickly spread. the cause isn't clear. police have begun an investigation but some have questioned whether extensive renovation work currently under way here might have sparked this massive blaze. the task now is to assess the destruction inside the building. its woodwork dating from the 13th century, its statues destroyed once before by revolutionaries two centuries ago. many things are said to be irreplaceable. great art, cultural heritage, symbols of protection and hope. what words should we use when it is all of these? lucy williamson, bbc news, paris.
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kevin connolly is in paris. how is it looking? it is three o'clock in the morning. some of the early intensity of the fire has died away. every so often we catch a glimpse of flames rearing up in one of the windows of the building. they wa nt to of the windows of the building. they want to maintain the core temperature of the building. we can try and show you, on the roof, firefighters are still assessing the state of the roof and the overall structure, but we do have, i suppose, an initial judgement, repeated by ron of france that the worst has been avoided. —— president
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macron. it probably means some reconstruction is possible but it will be a forbidding task. as far as we can tell the main structure is saved, the interior is relatively untouched. it seems only a small pa rt untouched. it seems only a small part of the vault collapsed but that stone may have prevented much of the fire in the wooden roof reaching the interior? it is a remarkable massive building of immense solidity. it took many years to construct it so there is a great deal about the stone structure which is immensely strong. but there were priceless
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artwork, would structures, wooden benches, they would burn intensely, of course. there is a very extensive damage. president macron talks about a national appeal to raise the funds. research will be on the masons, the carvers, the woodworkers hood could restore this building to its original glory but that is a task that may take many, many years so task that may take many, many years so the initial investigation of the fire, the initial securing of the building isa fire, the initial securing of the building is a task for the next few days and weeks. the task of recreating the glory of one of the great buildings of the mediaeval age, that is a historical task for modern france which president macron called on his fellow countrymen to the task. it is free in the morning,
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you made some extraordinary points earlier about just how you made some extraordinary points earlier aboutjust how old the cathedral is, what kind of history it has a scene and how long it took to build originally? this building comes from an age, 12th — 13th century in europe when immense structures were undertaken as act of devotion by the faithful. notre dame was completed during the 100 years while, 150— was completed during the 100 years while,150- 200 was completed during the 100 years while, 150— 200 years to finish the whole thing and fit it out. it contains, many catholics believe, the original crown of thorns with which christ was crucified, one of the great relics brought in by the crusaders from the middle east and here is one measure of the sort of antiquity we are talking about — napoleon was consecrated as emperor of france in the 90th century — —
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19th at that point notre dame was 500 yea rs 19th at that point notre dame was 500 years old, part of the tapestry of french life. when you think about that arc of antiquity, get a sense of our he meant the task will be of restoring this building to the glory it once enjoyed and also the symbol of not just their faith it once enjoyed and also the symbol of notjust their faith but it once enjoyed and also the symbol of not just their faith but the french nation. let's take a look back at the cultural significance of notre dame. it has survived the french revolution and two world wars. it has towered over paris since the 13th century. notre dame sits in the very heart of paris, on the ile de la cite, an island in the middle of the river seine. the fire is believed to have started shortly before 7pm local time, shortly after the structure closed to the public. horrified crowds gathered along the banks of the river to watch their much loved catherdral landmark burn. fergal keane looks now
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at what notre dame means to france, and its people. in paris, the most desolate of skies, smoke and ruin and history billowing into the air. fire crews from across paris have come here to save whatever they possibly can, and the striking thing, standing among the crowds on the banks of the seine, isjust the silence, the quiet of people stunned by the destruction of notjust a great french cultural artefact but of one that belonged to the world. notre dame de paris offered an image of france that seemed eternal, even if the age of kings and emperors and powerful cardinals had long past. it was built more than 800 years ago when kings ruled by divine right, and grand and great cathedrals of stone and stained glass were designed to reach for the sublime. so this is absolutely a cultural disaster, for all of us, notjust the french,
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but also of european significance. paris had been the hot cauldron of gothic architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries, and it had influenced a whole lot of buildings in england, including westminster abbey, and all our subsequent cathedrals. notre dame survived europe's devastating wars of religion, and the age of revolution. it was a theatre of hubris, napoleon was crowned emperor here by the pope. at the end of world war ii, the bells of notre dame pealed the hour of liberation. its glories are a source of pride for the people of the city. translation: i speak to your english audience to share my immense sorrow, my immense pain in front of this catastrophe that has befallen notre dame. i have lived here for more than 30 years, my three children were baptised here. what the germans did not destroy was ruined by stupid fire.
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archive: higher and higher it goes up... the fear of devastating fire was always present. this was the mid 1930s, when the paris fire service drilled for such an eventuality, but it was a renovation in the modern age that prove catastrophic. these statues were moved for protection just last week. tonight, paris feels like a city that is mourning the loss of an essential part of itself. fergal keane, bbc news, paris. robert bork is proftessor of art history at the university of iowa with a specialisation in gothic architecture. he's in iowa city. thank you for your time. this is a very painful time for all sorts of people in all sorts of way and certainly for a lover of gothic architecture. indeed, it is a terrible day. what is it about this building that makes it a gothic masterpiece? it is of course the
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cathedral of paris, one of the grandest and greatest of the first generation of gothic architecture in the second half of the 12th century when they were beginning to invent the style. it is one of the tallest, over 100 feet interior. very thin walls that had to be glazed with some of the first flying buttresses so some of the first flying buttresses so it is really an audacious building. it seems to be the stone of the interior, of the vaulted roof that may have saved much of the interior? that's exactly right, yes. is there a danger now to the structural integrity of the building? i think there is a danger but i think the worst has passed, 110w but i think the worst has passed, now that the fire has been controlled. as many of my friends and colleagues observed to me, there
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are many other cathedrals that have been badly damaged by bombardment in the wellbore, whether rooves have been damaged the structure survived thanks to the vault and buttresses. given it is standing still there is reason for optimism. we know some statues were removed for safety from the restoration. it is clear that on the restoration. it is clear that on the high altar, the statue, the ascent from the cross, is still there, many other artefacts is still there. we do not know about the stained and the gargoyles.” there. we do not know about the stained and the gargoyles. i do not know and many of my colleagues have been asking for news. i have not heard anything. it will require more careful investigation. the fire was
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fought according to a specific plan, that president trump is make suggestion was rejected because water bombs may have brought down the whole building but they were to cool down to prevent lead into the building but there are dangers in cooling down the stone work too fast because it may crack. that is correct. they were presented with a lot of bad options and they had to choose the least terrible and it seems to have worked in terms of saving the structure of the building, thankfully. when you see the pictures, personally, how are you feeling? it is agonising. it really is agonising. it is like seeing a friend in pain. it is a terrible feeling for anyone who loves these buildings. it takes so much effort over so many years and
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decades and even centuries to make such a structure and then it can go up such a structure and then it can go up very, very quickly. it is very sobering. thank you for your time. we will have more on the historic significance of notre dame. pol pot, one of the century's greatest mass murderers, is reported to have died of natural causes. he and the khmer rouge movement he led were responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million cambodians. there have been violent protests in indonesia, where playboy has gone on sale for the first time. traditionalist muslim leaders have expressed disgust. the magazine's offices have been attacked and its editorial staff have gone into hiding.
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it was clear that paula's only contest was with the clock, and as for her sporting legacy, paula radcliffe's competitors will be chasing her new world best time for years to come. quite quietly, but quicker and quicker, she seemed just to slide away under the surface and disappear. this is bbc news, the latest headlines: one of the world's most famous landmarks, notre dame cathedral in paris, has been engulfed by fire. firefighters say the blaze could be linked to ongoing restoration work. despite major efforts to fight the fire and just a few hours after it began, people were left shocked the moment the spire collapsed. there are fears for the rose windows, paintings and other artefacts, although some, including a crown of thorns
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and a medieval royal tunic, are safe. a little earlier my colleagues katty kay and matthew price spoke to the former french environment minister, segolene royal. it is an unfortunate tragedy. it is france as a whole who suffer and cry because centuries of french and world history go up in smoke. matthew price: what do you feel as you look at the images of the fire at notre dame? i'm so sad to see this and as a representative of the french politicians, i want to share my sadness with all french people. matthew price: there is some criticism i understand, early criticism, of the response. it feels too early to have that sort of criticism but are you in any
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position to talk about how prepared or otherwise the french firefighters and authorities may have been for something like this? no, no, it's too early. we don't know anything just now. katty kay: segolene royal, of course, it will be lost on no christians around the world that yesterday was palm sunday, next weekend is easter sunday, the holy week in the christian church. and as president macron has pointed out, catholics and christians in paris will be watching their beloved notre dame burn in this very holy, spiritual week. it's certainly for catholic and christians, it's all french people and all around the world. it's the most important monument in europe which is the most visited, and history belongs
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not only to christians. but i think that everybody is very sad tonight, whatever their origin. katty kay: ms royal, we heard earlierfrom ken follett who studied the construction of these buildings, that what can happen in a fire like this is that the roof collapses into the building. do you think that is why this blaze spread so quickly and so ferociously? it's a good explanation, you're right — it's a good explanation. the former french environment minister there. michael t davies is the chair of architectural studies
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at mount hollyoke college in massachusttes. this is certainly an occasion that is just this is certainly an occasion that isjust stunning, this is certainly an occasion that is just stunning, unbelievable. this is certainly an occasion that isjust stunning, unbelievable. a catastrophe that i think everyone, collea g u es catastrophe that i think everyone, colleagues in paris and colleagues around the us, i really having a ha rd around the us, i really having a hard time processing right now. watching the pictures in the past few hours, what is the significance of notre dame to you? certainly to mediaeval architectural historians, it isa mediaeval architectural historians, it is a building which one can watch, literally, the development and maturation of gothic architecture. one of the first full reflections or examples of a building that was monumentally large
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and breathtakingly tall but also transcendental the light. it was a tour de force in terms of its aesthetic achievement that also its technical daring. it was also perhaps the first building that really took advantage of the potential of the flying buttress to achieve both height and light. beyond that, notre dame has become a really synonymous, exemplar icon of gothic architecture itself. one commentator i was reading set apart from its religious significance, quite apart from the people and things it commemorates, the things in it from centuries ago, it is history carved and layers deep into buildings such as this one and there are not that many buildings such as
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this one. element quite so. one literally has preserved that chisel marks from 12 century craftsman. — make quite so. -- quite so. one of the tragedies of today's fire is that arguably the roof structure was the most original part of the building. this is one of the few structures that has survived more or less intact from the middle ages that has been preserved. it was a real monument although not certainly on public view, it was a real monument to the craft of carpentry and the skill of mediaeval builders. and although the spire collapsed and the wooden roof burnt, it seems that
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the wooden roof burnt, it seems that the stone and the vaulted interior may have protected the contents. can you tell us about the contents? yes, thatis you tell us about the contents? yes, that is one of the miracles, a few bright points in today's events, that the vault, the masonry ceiling of the building did not collapse but within notre dame, one has a real museum of art spanning from the 13th century and stained glass throughout one of the many ensembles of the 14th century sculpture to survive today. the choir enclosure, the treasury, such relics as the crown of thorns and the tunic of louis the
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ix, saint louis. there are a series of paintings that echo rate the chapel and interior, many of which we re chapel and interior, many of which were donated in the 17th century by the guild of goldsmiths as pious offerings to notre dame. thank you very much indeed for talking to us. you are quite welcome and i wish it we re you are quite welcome and i wish it were under happier circumstances. absolutely. just briefly before we go, let's ta ke just briefly before we go, let's take you to the pictures. a massive fire has partially destroyed —— destroyed the mediaeval cathedral of notre dame in paris. a place that took, well, the main body of the building to 100 years to build, the whole thing about 200 years. a racing blaze took over the roof and the spire. the main stone structure
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including the two famous square towers have been saved and much of the interior may not be as badly damaged as feared. in 04 watching. —— thank you. hello there, good morning. there's more spring sunshine and more spring warmth on the way as we head towards the easter weekend. the weekend just gone was quite chilly, temperatures 10—12. an easterly wind and the air coming all the way from the baltic. but look what happens over the next few days. a lot of that blue, colder air gets pushed away and it really heats up across central parts of europe and that is where we are going to get our weather coming from. we will be developing this south—easterly breeze and it will be warming up everywhere. mid—20s perhaps by saturday. on monday, in the sunshine, it felt pleasant enough. temperatures it felt pleasant enough. here in london 15 degrees.
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likewise in liverpool, merseyside. we also had this cloud coming in very slowly from the west which has been bringing with it patchy rain and drizzle. earlier on it was windy as well in northern ireland and here in cornwall, unseasonable weather. the winds are easing down and the rain is edging its way eastwards. the clearer skies ahead of it are filling with cloud. frost free. rain from northern ireland heading across to wales and the west country. the rain in the south petering out to a certain extent. the rain is lighter and patchy in the afternoon heading into eastern scotland and eastern england heading to be dry a lot of cloud around. the winds won't be as strong on tuesday but still an onshore breeze coming into northeast scotland. —— eastern scotland, north—east england. a little bit on the chilly side. under the cloud, temperatures typically ten or 13. a touch higher in the london area if it brightens up. more especially for cornwall and
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devon. more sunshine on the way on wednesday. some mist and fog around. some patchy cloud developing and you could just squeeze out a light shower. unlucky if you catch those. generally it is drier, more sunshine and more warmth as temperatures climb to 17 or 18. it is set to get warmer over the coming few days. still high—pressure around scandinavia not only is it warmer but it's also drier, coming up from central europe but more sunshine around as well. temperatures rising everywhere. the peak of the temperatures will be on saturday and it could get 24 or 25. then starts to cool down a little bit and we may see some rain arriving in the north—west.
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